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Clothesline Project to mark Prevention of Violence Against Women week

Decorated t-shirts will be on display downtown this month to mark Prevention of Violence Against Women week.

The shirts will be decorated by people who have been affected by abuse and hung on a clothesline at Spirit Square on April 20, according to the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society.

They add all members of the community are invited to view the project and have an opportunity to decorate a t-shirt and hang it on the clothesline.

The Clothesline Project was started in the U.S. in 1990 for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a t-shirt. The society says it’s a “display of society’s dirty laundry that aims to take the issue of violence against women out of the shadows.”

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“Decorated t-shirts may be a statement against any kind of violence, or a statement of hope for the future,” said the society in a statement.

“Blue and red t-shirts represent sexual abuse, yellow or beige t-shirts represent abuse by a partner, white t-shirts represent murder, purple t-shirts represent assault because of sexual orientation and green T-shirts represent children who have been affected by violence.”

The society adds that studies show around four per cent of Canadians over the age of 15 have experienced abuse from an intimate partner, and women are more likely than men to experience severe and frequent violence from a spouse or someone they are dating.

The shirts will be on display from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the week running from April 16 to 22.

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In Campbell River, there is also an annual display called These Hands Don’t Hurt where non-abusive males trace their hands on a white sheet in support of this cause, according to the society.

If you are in an abusive relationship, or know someone who is in an abusive relationship, confidential help is available at:  

  • Ann Elmore Transition House: 250-286-3666  
  • Community-Based Victim Services: 250-287-2421  
  • Campbell River Women’s Centre: 250-287-3044  
  • North Island Survivor’s Healing Society: 250-287-3325 
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